Hackaday Prize Entry: Pan And Tilt Sprinkler

There are a few very popular irrigation systems entered into this year’s Hackaday Prize. In fact, last year’s winner for the Best Product portion of the Prize was the Vinduino, a soil moisture monitor for vineyards. Most of these irrigation systems use drip irrigation or are otherwise relatively small-scale. What if you need something a little more powerful? That’s where [Patrick]’s PTSprinkler comes in. It’s a massive lawn sprinkler coupled to a computer controlled pan and tilt mount. Think of it as a remote controlled Super Soaker, or the Internet of squirt guns. Either way, it’s a great entry for this year’s Hackaday Prize.

The PTSprinkler is designed to use as many low-cost, off-the-shelf components as possible. This started out with a heavy duty outdoor pan-tilt stage an irrigation solenoid valve.

The idea for this sprinkler is to first manually define a shape on the lawn that the sprinkler should cover. From there, the electronics figure out a fill pattern for this grassy polygon. So far, [Patrick] has an electronics board that will move the pan/tilt stage with the help of a Raspberry Pi. You can check out a video of that in action below.

16 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: Pan And Tilt Sprinkler

  1. Truly a great idea – why install expensive individually addressable irrigators when just one can cover the whole lawn? This way the system can adapt to spatially varying water needs at a low cost.

    1. I want it to identify cars with loud music playing and open windows. Of course then it would shoot water into the window.

      I live one house in from a busy intersection with a stoplight and a lot of inconsiderate drivers.

  2. Looks like you have plenty of water to pump. You will need a lot of identical glasses to determine what is getting soaked and what just gets wet. Then, further programming will give a more even soak.

  3. Nice in theory, but stick to drip irrigation.

    As much as 75% of sprinkler irrigation is lost to the atmosphere. This stat is from 30 year old data using diesel powered agricultural sprinklers, but the principle is the same.

    1. I wonder if that depends on the droplet size too… plus, if someone’s got water issues, I doubt they’d even be allowed this, let alone multiple sprinklers?

    2. That may be true when the sprinkler is spraying a mist, but if this is shooting a laminar flow, 99%+ of the water will end up at the intended destination.

      Plus, drip irrigation is a complete pain to maintain. Winters, critters, plant growth, and gardening activities all conspire to make your configuration obsolete season after season after season. A spray is essentially fire and forget.

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